Monday, July 25, 2011

Last Night At Contagious

11 baptized at Contagious Youth on the Beach last night!!

Last night would be categorized as one of the highlights of my time in youth ministry and my time at Nags Head Church. We had a fantastic turn out for Contagious on the beach. Ramon, one of youth team volunteers, shared and had the pods discuss sharing the gospel and sharing our faith.
Students focused in on picking a friend to share their faith with and to pray for.

We had a student put her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior at camp so we arranged to baptize her at the beach during youth group last night. Along the way we picked up 10 other kids who had put their faith in Christ but had yet to be baptized. It was a great celebration. I was impressed with the adults from our church who had no youth in the group who turned out at the beach to watch the baptism. It's great to be part of a supportive church. It was also cool to have the dads of some of our youth baptizing their own kids, having baptized my son I know that it is a wonderful moment.

We are in a period of "momentum" at Contagious Youth. My prayer is this momentum carries into the school year and that our students will love their friends at school with the love of Christ and live a life that is different.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Camp Was A Success!

We just returned this past Saturday from our first ever Camp Contagious. Our goal was to see student's lives changed. We did! So I think it's safe to say Camp Contagious was successful.

We all loaded in vans and drove 11 hours to Pigeon Forge, Tn. There in PF we stayed in a 4 story log cabin that slept 40. It was quite the experiment of meshing all the different personalities into one house. There was no real "drama" at camp. We all seemed to get along very well. The team of volunteers that went along worked together fantastically. Home cooked camp food is way better than institutional food at a campus or camp somewhere.

We had a worship time in the morning and evening. The students were also divided into small groups and had discussion times twice during the day. We carved out a half hour each morning for students to get alone with God and have their quiet time reading the Bible and praying.

Friday night's worship time the students were given opportunity to share what Christ had done in their life at camp or a lesson they learned or something new about God that they didn't know before. It was a great time of worship with some music scattered in between. Some students shared that they are going to be more bold in their witness, other's shared that they had become slack in their daily spiritual habits. One young lady said, "For the past two years I have been an athiest. That ended 5 minutes ago." Needless to say there was much applause and hugs all around.

Even though camp prep and the week of camp is tiring it is always a blessing to see students' lives impacted. Now they are back in the real world. We pray their commitments grow stronger and do not fizzle.

For fun we swam in a huge pool with a great slide, went to Dollywood, and went whitewater rafting.

One student who has been attending camp with us for several years said this was the best camp he had been to. One of our leaders said this was the best youth trip she had ever been on.
I have to agree with both!

Note my rafting skills.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Week Before

The week before camp is always a little hectic.

The week before it is good to:

>Have all medical releases and waivers turned in so you don't have to deal with that at the same time as checking in kids, their meds, and loading luggage.

>Call and check on your van reservations. This give peace of mind and also makes sure there are no glitches. You can't upgrade from a 12 passenger van, only downgrade in size which would be a major hiccup.

>Download and print off directions for all your drivers. It's smart to have directions and phone numbers for your drivers in case you get separated. Also print off any directions you may need to activity destinations, etc. Load addresses in the GPS if you are using one.

>Call and confirm your reservations and final details at your camp. For us that is calling the rental company handling our giant log cabin.

>Communicate at least twice with parents via e-mail, FB, etc. final details, departure times, etc. Remind that you leave on time with our without. Include contact numbers.

>Call and confirm all special outings, events/activities. Make sure to have any special details campers may need in advance for the outing. Example: It is illegal for a rafting company in Tn. to take people rafting if the customers are not wearing either strap on sandals or closed toed shows. Flip flops and Crocs aren't allowed.

>Make sure to have a church credit card for fuel charges or any surprises that may arise on the trip.

>Sleep. Make sure you get extra sleep the week before and so does your camp team. I average about half the normal sleep I get when I'm at camp. The older I get the more sleep I need before and after camp.

>Pack some small tubs for each van containing trash bags (comes in handy for motion sickness), first aid kit, flashlight, drammamine, etc.

>Pray. Recruit the partners in your church who you know are prayer giants to please pray starting "today" for camp and the campers, safety and the staff.

Made the Top 40 Youth Ministry Blogs

My blog made #30 out of the top 40 youth ministry blogs according to I don't know what that means but "thanks!&quo...